I’ve been looking for some simple jacket patterns for a while, so hearing about the Coco Jacket pattern release (previously only available as a class) was very exciting.
This pattern prompted my visit to Fabworks where I chose a cheerful outer fabric and aqua lining (which is unbelievably soft but inevitably rather slippery to sew!).
Having printed and traced the pattern, I spent a considerable amount of time on cutting out to make the stripe matching work as well as possible. I found it easiest to lay out all the pieces for the bodice side by side, matching the notches along horizontal stripes (which are more varied than they look at first glance!), cutting them on a single layer and then repeating the process with the mirror image pieces as seen here. It was slow but strangely satisfying! I aimed to match the sleeve stripes (to the jacket body and around the sleeves) and happened at the second attempt. To be honest, I’m not even sure how it worked! If I ever manage it again, I’ll take notes.
Rather than risk snipping notches in the outer fabric – which frays if you go anywhere near a cut edge – I used thread loops to mark the notch points. It added time but made matching the seams and lining much easier.
Apart from sewing both sleeves in back to front, unlocking and reinserting them, the construction went smoothly thanks to the excellent instructions. I also re-stitched a few seams where I wasn’t happy with the stripe matching.
Using lots of fine pins, patience and careful matching of notches made constructing the lining easier. I used a microtex needle for the first time and found it worked well with the fine, slippery fabric. I tacked the sleeves in place after pinning them to the armholes, which reduced sliding when stitching. At school we were taught always to pin and tack but I tend only to do so where accuracy is vital or with fabrics that move a lot.
Sewing the lining to the outer was less stressful than I anticipated, once I read the instructions properly. The neckline is stitched first, then the front edges and finally the hem and sleeves.
I’m delighted with the finished jacket and will make at least one more (in a plain fabric!). It’s an ideal route into making jackets and lined garments for newer stitchers but also challenging enough to keep an experienced crafter on his or her toes.